Night at the 1859 Jail Museum
October 11, 2014 -- Independence,
Spend the Night Where the
Ghosts of the Civil War Still Walk!
||Night at the 1859 Jail Museum
217 North Main Street - Independence, Missouri
6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Join American Hauntings for a
night that you won't soon forget -- a search for the ghosts of
the old 1859 Jail and Marshal's Home in Independence, Missouri, made famous
during the bloody days of the Civil War in Missouri, when the
jail held women and children who were unjustly locked up,
guerilla leader William Quantrill and outlaw Frank James! Spend the night
looking for the ghosts of this historic -- and very haunted --
old jail with a limited number of ghost hunters during a
private ghost hunt. Find out if the place is really as
haunted as so many people claim and perhaps come face to face
with one of the former occupants of the place!
The evening will
include a historic tour of the jail followed by a
ghost hunt at a place that has been called one of the most
haunted places in Missouri. The night begins at 6:00 p.m. and
continues until 3:00 a.m. -- unless you get too scared to
continue! Don't miss out on this chilling night at a place where
Missouri's Civil War history lives on!
Make Reservations Now for a Limited Number of Spots!
$60 Per Person
Here for Reservations for this Eerie Event!
|The Jackson County
Jail and Marshal's house was built in Independence, Missouri in
1859. The jail was constructed by A.B. Cross, a noted architect
from Kansas City, and it was used until 1933, when it was closed
down. Before that time, however, it saw more than its share of
history. When built, the structure consisted of a home for the
city marshal and his family and twelve limestone cells that were
located at the rear of the residence. The only major change to
the structure was in 1907, when a brick building was added on to
house chain gangs who worked on roads, sewers and other public
The marshal lived with his family in the residence, which was
the front half of the structure. The marshal's wife often cooked
meals for the prisoners, as well as her own family, in a small
kitchen at the back of the house. The Marshal was paid about $50
per month, plus the use of the house, for his services. The jail
consisted of six upstairs and six downstairs cells, with
two-foot thick walls of limestone blocks. A single kerosene lamp
in the hallway provided the only light at night. Two doors, one
of grated iron and one of solid iron, were provided for each
cell, as was a window covered with grated iron that permitted
wind from the outside to enter. The cells were not heated, and
some prisoners incarcerated inside died of exposure during the
jail's history. Each cell was six by nine feet and designed to
hold three prisoners, though during the Civil War, as many as
twenty prisoners were confined in each one.
Some of the crimes for which a person could be imprisoned in the
jail prior to the Civil War included: horse racing on public
streets, firing guns in town, operating a gaming house, assault
and battery, disturbing the peace, disturbing a religious
meeting, or building a privy "not over a pit." But it was during
the war that the jail gained its greatest infamy...
|During the war,
the jail held both military and civilian prisoners and served as
the office for the U.S. Provost Marshal. One of the most famous
inmates of the jail -- for a brief time -- was Pro-Confederate
guerilla leader William Clark Quantrill. He gained his real
infamy in August 1863 after Union officials in Lawrence, Kansas
ordered the detention of any civilians giving aid to Quantrill's
men, who included "Bloody Bill" Anderson, the Younger Brothers
and Frank and Jesse James. Several female relatives of the
guerillas were imprisoned in a makeshift jail in Kansas City and
on August 14, the building collapsed, killing one of Bill
Anderson's sisters and crippling another. Quantrill's men
believed the collapse was deliberate and raided Lawrence,
Kansas, killing 183 men and boys and burning most of the city.
The town was also looted and the bank was robbed.
On August 25, in retaliation for the raid, Union officials
authorized General Order No. 11, which ordered the depopulation
of three-and-a-half Missouri counties along the Kansas border
(with the exception of a few designated towns), forcing tens of
thousands of civilians to abandon their homes. Union troops
marched through behind them, burning buildings, torching planted
fields and shooting down livestock to deprive the guerrillas of
food and support.
|The area was so thoroughly
devastated that it became known thereafter as the "Burnt
District." Jackson County was one of those affected by the
order and scores of women and children were actually
detained within the walls of the jail.
the war, the jail's most famous inmate was Frank James, older
brother to outlaw Jesse James, who spent almost six months
behind bars in the 1880s. During his time at the jail,
James' cell was furnished with a Brussels carpet, fine
furniture and paintings, and he was permitted free run of
the jail and hosted card games in his cell at night. Frank
James' cell is preserved as it was when he occupied it and
can still be seen today.
In the 1900s, the jail was used to house the prison chain
gangs that were used to improve the local roads, a brutal,
hot and exhausting punishment that broke the men's minds and
bodies. In 1933, the last jail hung up his keys and the
county found a use for the jail and home when it housed
several offices, work training programs and government
bureaus during the Great Depression.
Join us now as we unlock the history and search for the
lingering spirits of those who were jailed and died here
over the years. Discover the criminals and ordinary people
who were incarcerated behind these walls perhaps come face
to face with a presence of yesterday with American